The Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts (Review and Renegotiation of Unconscionable Terms) Regulations, 2020

The Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts (Review and Renegotiation of Unconscionable Terms) Regulations, 2020

Through Government Notice No. 57 published on 31st January 2020 the Government issued Regulations under the Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts (Review and Re-Negotiation of Unconscionable Terms) Act, Cap 450 namely The Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts (Review and Renegotiation of Unconscionable Terms) Regulations, 2020.

The Regulations establish registers of Natural Wealth and Resources within Ministries under whom Arrangements or Agreements on Natural Wealth and Resources are made. The Director responsible for Natural Wealth observatory activities in the respective Ministry is the designated Registrar of Natural Wealth and Resources Arrangements or Agreements.

An application for registration of Natural Wealth and Resource Arrangement or Agreement is through a prescribed form and should be made by the responsible person on behalf of Ministries, Government departments, and Agencies or any other Public or Private Institution dealing with Natural Wealth and Resources that enters into a Natural Wealth and Resource Arrangement or Agreement.

  • Applications for registration of Arrangements and Agreements made before the coming into operation of the Regulations should be made within sixty (60) days from the date of coming into operation of the Regulations.
  • Applications for registration of Arrangements or Agreements made subsequent to the coming into operation of the Regulations should be made not later than thirty (30) days from the date of execution of the Arrangements or Agreements.
  • All Contract re-negotiation Arrangements in existence on the date of coming into operation of the Regulations will continue and be concluded as if the Regulations had not been made.

The Minister responsible for Constitutional Affairs is responsible for the submission of Natural Wealth and Resource Arrangement or Agreement to the Cabinet and subsequently submitting a resolution of the cabinet to the National Assembly. The law requires all Arrangements or Agreements on Natural Wealth and Resources made by the Government to be reported to the National Assembly within six sitting days of the National Assembly next following the making of such Arrangement or Agreements.

Where the National Assembly determines that an Arrangement or Agreement contains an unconscionable term and by resolution directs the Government to re-negotiate the Arrangement or Agreement, the Minister responsible for Constitutional Affairs will, within seven (7) days from the day of receipt of the National Assembly extract of the resolution, notify the Minister responsible for entry into the Natural Wealth and Resource Arrangement or Agreement of the requirement to renegotiate the same.

The Minister responsible for entry into any Natural Wealth and Resource Arrangement or Agreement will in turn issue a notice of renegotiation of the Arrangement or Agreement to the other party and in consultation with the Attorney General appoint a Government renegotiation team.

The renegotiation team is required to develop a schedule of renegotiation which will not exceed ninety (90) days and share it with the other party. The renegotiation schedule developed by the renegotiation team may, by mutual agreement and subject to the approval of the Minister responsible for Constitutional Affairs, be extended for a period of not more than thirty (30) days.

Once the renegotiation has been completed and a draft report prepared by the renegotiation team, the lead member of the renegotiation team will submit the draft report to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry responsible for the Arrangement or Agreement being renegotiated for purposes of organizing a stakeholders meeting to discuss the draft report.   On conclusion of a stakeholder meeting and where the draft report is adopted, the Permanent Secretary will submit the draft report to the respective Minister for concurrence and thereafter the Ministry will prepare a final report and submitted it to the Minister responsible for Constitutional Affairs who on concurrence with the report will submit it to the Cabinet.  It is after the Cabinet procedures have been exhausted and the President’s Certificate issued, the Minister responsible for Constitutional Affairs will, within thirty (30) days, submit the report on the outcome of renegotiation to the National Assembly.

Where the Government has served notice of intention to re-negotiate the Arrangement or Agreement and the other party fails to agree to re-negotiate the unconscionable terms or no agreement is reached with regards to the unconscionable terms such terms will cease to have effect to the extent of unconscionable terms and will be treated as having been expunged.

The Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts (Review and Re-Negotiation of Unconscionable Terms) Act has over-riding effect over any other law governing administration and management of Natural Wealth and Resources.

Disclaimer

The information contained herein is for general information purposes only. Viewers/Readers should not rely upon the information as a basis for making any business, legal or any other decisions.